Crypto & Blockchain Startups: NYC Office Buildings for You

30 June, 2022 / Alan Rosinsky
NYC Civic Center Skyline with 225 Broadway: Hub for Crypto & Blockchain Startups

Digital technology has transformed many areas of our lives, and it’s now making an impact on real estate. Houses have been sold as NFTs, while several companies have begun paying their monthly rent in cryptocurrencies. WeWork, for instance, has been accepting cryptocurrency rental payments for a year, while real estate firm Jamestown has partnered with BitPay to enable its tenants to pay their rent the same way. Blockchain, FinTech, IoT, NFT – for better or for worse, these terms have become part of the real estate vocabulary over the past few years as startups continue to sprout up across the country.

The cryptocurrency market is known for its strong fluctuations, and 2022 is proving to be a low point for the industry, at least for now. Businesses related to cryptocurrency are flourishing and expanding rapidly. They are occupying office space throughout the country, especially in technology-driven markets like San Francisco, New York City, and Miami. While such companies occupy less than a million square feet out of roughly 4.4 billion square feet of office space in the U.S., they’re growing fast. According to the New York Times, leasing by crypto and fintech-related companies has jumped 68% since 2020.

Generally, What do Crypto, Blockchain and FinTech tenants look for in an office?

In Manhattan, Crypto tenants lease a small portion of available space, though the proportions are starting to shift. Companies in the industry used to be drawn to peripheral locations and submarkets with an ‘edgier,’ more ‘hip’ vibe and have created a tech cluster around Union Square. However, as these companies continue to expand, they are exploring high-growth parts of Manhattan, such as Hudson Yards and Grand Central.

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the U.S. by trading volume, has recently established its first New York City office at 55 Hudson Yards. Bitcoin mining company Cipher Mining signed a lease at One Vanderbilt, trading and mining network Apinigy moved into 1675 Broadway, Blocktech opened a new space at 55 Wall Street, while Chainalysis doubled its office digs at 114 Fifth Avenue. These are just some companies moving into Midtown Manhattan’s trophy office towers. Since the borough’s availability rate is hovering around 20% as of June, landlords are welcoming them with open arms.

Specifically, What Office Space Amenities for Crypto and BlockChain Tenants Seek?

Crypto companies seeking office space in NYC often have these specific requirements, including the following:

  • FinTech, Blockchain, and Crypto firms usually prefer short-term leases because their industries are unpredictable and can grow quickly.
  • Modern technology and connectivity options such as high speed fiber are a must
  • Tenants in these industries seek landlords who provide expansion space before lease expiration for future growth.
  • FinTech and Crypto tenants seek landlords who are supportive of startups. They look for landlords who understand their needs and are willing to make deals with young tech entrepreneurs.
  • Companies in this sector prefer open and flexible workspaces that encourage collaboration. They tend to avoid office intensive environments.
  • Move-in-ready, plug-and-play spaces that don’t require build-outs are more ideal
  • Companies commonly expect modern amenities such as 24/7 security and accessibility, high ceilings, natural light, and contemporary finishes. Other features such as tenant-controlled HVAC, meeting rooms, video conferencing equipment, bike storage, and parking are also in demand.
  • Crypto and blockchain tenants seek a location that is convenient and offers access to public transit, shopping, and dining. They also look for access to outdoor space, such as balconies, terraces, or nearby public parks.

Which are the best office buildings in Manhattan for Crypto-related businesses?

Tech workers command high salaries compared to other industries, and these companies tend to rapidly expand. Employers face a highly competitive task of attracting and retaining skilled technical staff, and office space is a significant factor. These companies highly seek modern office spaces with high-end amenities, such as those available at One Vanderbilt or Hudson Yards office towers.

We’ll list the top office buildings for Blockchain, FinTech, or Crypto companies in Manhattan. These buildings have modern amenities, flexible floor plans, room to grow, and are close to public transportation, shopping, and dining.

55 Hudson Yards | Hudson Yards

The 51-story, 1.3 million-square-foot office tower at 55 Hudson Yards is the new home of cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase. A San Francisco-based Crypto company went public in April 2021 with a market valuation of $85.7 billion. This made it the first major Crypto company in the country to do so. Soon after, the firm subleased 30,000 square feet of Class A Midtown Manhattan office space at 55 Hudson Yards from Point72 Asset Management.

Related Companies and Mitsui Fudosan America own the tower, which offers best-in-class amenities suitable for modern office tenants. The amenities at 55 Hudson Yards are top-notch, including a 360-degree terrace, column-free office space, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Additionally, the building offers efficient and flexible floor plates and views of the Hudson River. They come at a hefty price, with average asking rents hovering around $100 per square foot or higher. Notable tenants include Facebook, Mount Sinai, Wells Fargo, Apple, and Boies Schiller Flexner.

600 Third Avenue | Grand Central

BlackRock owns the Class A tower spanning 500,000 square feet at 600 Third Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange platform founded by the Winklevoss brothers in 2014, is located on the second floor of the building. Other tenants in the 42-story building include Pomerantz, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Fuji Industries, and Regus.

The tower is located just steps from Grand Central Terminal. The building offers a range of amenities including a recently restored lobby, great views, Energy Star efficiency, and a visitor registration and security turnstile system. Asking rents at this NYC office building start at $80 per square foot.

114 Fifth Avenue | Flatiron

Built in 1909 and renovated in 2014, the 350,000-square-foot building at 114 Fifth Avenue in Flatiron is home to blockchain data platform Chainalys. The NYC-based company doubled its office space in the building and now occupies 77,000 square feet on four floors. Allianz’s Class A tower is also home to various other companies including Capital One, Bank of America, Mastercard, First Look Media, and Lululemon. The building offers 24/7 tenant access and security, as well as new elevators, windows, and lobby, and a freight entrance. Additionally, it provides convenient access to several subway lines and PATH trains. Office floor plates average 19,000 square feet while asking rents hover around $90 to $100 per square foot.

225 Broadway | City Hall

The Transportation Building at 225 Broadway is another excellent option for FinTech, Blockchain, or Crypto businesses. The 43-story, 480,831-square-foot office building is home to Refinery29, Utopia Music, CMA Law Group, Palant & Shapiro, Golub & Golub, and Primitive Bits, an ethereum cryptocurrency platform headquartered in Oregon. Braun Management owns the building, which provides 24/7 access, UPS drop-off, an attended lobby, and onsite security. It also houses an onsite restaurant, an art gallery, a dental office, and a jeweler.

The property is also conveniently located close to public transportation, providing easy access to numerous subway and PATH lines. 225 Broadway’s upper floors have setbacks, which creates smaller floor plates on the high floors.  An advantage of this feature is that it provides tech companies seeking more compact spaces with expansive views. Asking rents start at $50 per square foot.

11 Times Square | Times Square

The Class A office tower at 11 Times Square is also known as Eleven X, and it was completed in 2011. Spanning 1.1 million square feet of office space, the Times Square tower is owned and managed by SJP Properties and is home to tenants like Microsoft, Digitalis Ventures, Bank of America, Proskauer Rose, and Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform Matrixport.

Amenities include above-standard ceiling height, floor-to-ceiling windows, column-free offices, Fanwell HVAC system, private outdoor terraces, a visitor check-in system, 24/7 access, and LEED Platinum certification for its environmental features. Floorplates range from 20,000 to 40,000 square feet, while asking rents start around $100 per square foot. Spaces can be delivered turn-key, move-in-ready.

1350 Broadway | Herald Square

The 25-story, 404,979-square-foot office building at 1350 Broadway in the Herald Square submarket was completed in 1928 and is owned by Empire State Realty Trust. The property features a new lobby and roof, new elevators, bathrooms, and corridors, and recently underwent a $53 million renovation. The building offers 15,000-square-foot spaces and high-end, pre-built suites with stainless steel appliances. Notable tenants at 1350 Broadway include Telenav, Ecolab, Ameritas, Duane Reade, and Palladium Group. The building is also home to cryptocurrency company My Crypto Owl. Rents for office space at 1350 Broadway start at $70-$80 per square foot.

780 Third Avenue | Plaza District

The 490,000-square-foot office tower at 780 Third Avenue in the Plaza District was built in 1983 and is owned by Nuveen, a TIAA company.The 50-story tower provides Class A office space, with numerous modern amenities available to tenants. These amenities include a rooftop deck, gym, bike room, and tenant-exclusive amenity center, as well as onsite dining. Additionally, the tower boasts a business conference center with a 154-seat auditorium and seven conference rooms. Other benefits for tenants include messenger services, flexible layouts, and tenant-controlled HVAC. Nuveen is also developing a $40 million amenity center dubbed The Gardens at 780, which will include a 12,000-square-foot public park, a new restaurant, and a new lobby and full-service coffee bar, among others.

Are you thinking of setting up your FinTech, Blockchain or Crypto business in a convenient location in Manhattan? Are you looking to lease space in a modern building offering state-of-the-art amenities? To learn about available office or retail space, call Metro Manhattan Office Space at (212) 444-2241 or email us at [email protected].

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